Script kiddies could be easier to defeat than at first thought, security experts have claimed.
The phenomenon of technology amateurs who use virus and hacking toolkits to launch attacks on websites and servers has caused numerous security headaches. But their methods of operation can be turned against them, according to a panel of experts speaking at this year's RSA Conference.
"If we could make every email cost three cents, spam would go away," explained Daniel Houser, technical director for a Fortune 500 company. "It's about making attacks economically unfeasible, then they'll just go away."
He explained that hackers would formerly spend time investigating specific systems, spending hours researching their targets, going through office litter to find information and then launching attacks based on that background work.
In contrast, today's script kiddies simply download tools from the internet and scan automatically to try and find vulnerable systems, finding targets of opportunity rather than tackling specific companies.
The proposed solution is to use spare IP addresses to set up dummy servers, similar to honeypots used to collect information on hacker attacks. These could be used to mask a company's real internet portal.
John Rockwood, IT director at Nationwide, said: "We are trying to create a honey network. You can hide internet facing boxes in a haystack so huge that it's economically unfeasible to attack.
"You can intermix your real boxes in with the false boxes because script kiddies are not going to have the patience to go through each one and try and figure them out."
Rockwood and Hauser agreed that script kiddies were part of "the MTV generation" with short attention spans. By making it difficult to determine correct targets, the amateur hackers would move on to easier sites.
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